Bold plan needed for Seaton

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:06 15 June 2010

So, the clouds of discontent are gathering over the regeneration of Seaton; Axmouth doesn't want lorries going through the village, although there are alternatives available; Colyton doesn't want serious commercial competition and the Seaton Town Council

So, the clouds of discontent are gathering over the regeneration of Seaton; Axmouth doesn't want lorries going through the village, although there are alternatives available; Colyton doesn't want serious commercial competition and the Seaton Town Council doesn't want Tesco, full stop. Councillor Jim Knight seems to have a realistic grasp of the need to 'get the best' out of any large scale development in Seaton, including the management of waste disposal - something that our local authorities have not managed well in the past. We only need Beer, Branscombe, Musbury and Whitford to encircle Seaton regeneration with a potential garrotte of resistance. Personally, I would prefer a Fortnum and Mason or a Marks and Spencer outlet here, but then I am not out there in the commercial world procuring the large capital funding necessary to regenerate Seaton. We have seen Axminster grow from a declining market town to a bustling centre of commerce, leisure and culture. It is a town that has grasped the nettle of decline and has understood and utilised the potential in the East Devon planning proposal, and it has far more planning in the pipeline. As Abigail Jones has pointed out, there would need to be infrastructural changes, which would ease the problems of carting in-fill as well as the inevitable increase of commercial traffic. Point well made. The concerns expressed about the dot.com and home delivery element of Tesco's planning are serious, timely and appropriate. All I would want to say to all those whose objections to Tesco are reaching fever pitch is please don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Look at the greatly under-utilised Lyme Bay, the wonderful developing nature reserve on the marshes, the well designed and sturdy promenade, the attractive and popular tramway, the SUSTRANS cycle track and so on. Then look at the vast empty spaces in and around the old camp site, the clogged up estuary and yacht club, the draining away of youth and leisure resources, etc. To capitalise on the enormous potential of this lovely town, we need bold, forward thinking plans, based on the East Devon Local Development Framework and the regional housing plans. Tony Hill By e-mail


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